Sunday, 13 August 2017

Oh, precious one of Israel do not fret

God tries to communicate with us in many ways and there is no doubt that God wants this message heard.

Source: PInterest
A member of our congregation recently purchased a second-hand bible from a charity shop and was surprised when she opened it up to see a handwritten note. It is not clear how old the note is as there was no date on it and there were also no details of who wrote it. God tries to communicate with us in many ways and there is no doubt that God wants this message heard, which is clearly a Word for somebody. There were a small number of words that were difficult to read due to the handwriting however in these instances the words have been interpreted in the context of the writing that proceeds and follows them. What follows is a transcript that has been written word for word as it was originally written with a few minor interpretations (those words highlighted in blue) where required;

‘Oh precious one of Israel do not fret for the time is short and the door is open for you, just climb in, do not be afraid of tomorrow, tomorrow will take care of itself. Do not be afraid because I have put you here to do good to each other and to man. Do not fret I am coming soon to rescue you all, do not fret, do not fret my child I am coming to rescue you all, do not be afraid even if they advance an army against you, my gates are open wide, do not fret, do not fret even if an army advances against you, because I have positioned you here my child. Do not be destroyed in your worries of the future or past. You have been made a prisoner, stolen from the past into the future. I am coming soon to break the fettles which claim you, I am coming soon to break the shackles. You will be free soon my child, do not fret, because I am coming soon, soon my child. Do not fret my child because I have not deceived you about your future home, which is with me. Reflect my life in your life, do not be shy and speak the truth my child because I have set you free from all the lies and deceit. Do not fret my child because I will be coming soon. I have chosen a home for you. They teased you because of me and the future I have for you. I am taking you to a new land of pastures where there will be peace, away from everything. I am your future husband, I am the man in your life, I have chosen you for this hour, I have chosen you my chosen one of Israel. Come out of here – I cannot be deceived’.

Source: Stephlin's Mountain
In addition to the hand-written note above there was a further much briefer note found in the same bible. This note was clearly written by a different person as the writing was significantly different and much easier to read. A date of 6th September 2015 was written at the top of this note. The transcript below is exactly as it was written, as all words were clear to read, and was entitled ‘A forgiving heart’;

‘Christianity is best defined in terms of relationships, to loving God with all our heart and loving people as ourselves. Un-forgiveness in any of these, our vital relationships, block our access to God who commands us to be kind to one another with a loving compassionate heart, forgiving each other as God in His mercy forgave us' (Ephesians 4:32).

Ephesians 4:32 ‘Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you’

Be blessed.


Authors: Anonymous

May God bless and enrich your life

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Sunday, 6 August 2017

God supplies our needs; not our wants

There is a very big difference between something we need and something that we want. A need is something that we must have and is essential, whereas a want is something that we would like to have, but is not essential.

Source: Be Overcomers
In January 2016 I had an old van that I used for work. It was quite a small van but it served its purpose, however I needed an upgrade for all my tools, equipment and materials and therefore decided that I needed a much bigger van. After a bit of searching I found a van, not too far from where I lived which seemed to suit me down to the ground. The van cost me £3000 and I thought to myself, new year, new start, new van and I was quite excited. The trouble is, from that point onwards everything seemed to go downhill. I had a few problems where I couldn’t get the engine to start so I had to get a friend of mine to come and take a look.  My friend did some work on the engine and everything seemed to be ok, until the next morning when the van wouldn’t start at all! The van was taken to a specialist garage who managed to get the van going again and I was relieved and thought ‘great, I’m back on the road again’. A few days later however, something else went wrong and I broke down again and this continued to happen for the best part of three months. I think, in all I must have broken down about eleven times and it was costing me an absolute fortune, in fact I suspect that I must have spent more than double the amount I had paid for the van, on repairs.

At the time of my van troubles it is also worth mentioning that I am self-employed and as you can imagine, having an unreliable van had a major impact on my work. If I’m not working, I’m not getting paid so it was essential for me to get the van fixed. I remember having an argument with God and asking Him, ‘Why me?’. His answer really surprised me when He told me ‘you must tithe’. I thought to myself, ‘that is not exactly the answer I was looking for. I’ve already spent thousands of pounds and now you want me to tithe as well!’. I decided to carry on as before and tried to get the van fixed again and a week later it broke down again, I got it fixed again and then it broke down again.  I had another argument with God because I clearly was not getting anywhere and He gave me the same answer; ‘you must tithe’. I thought to myself ‘how can I tithe, I’ve got no money left?’ Another week went by, my head was spinning and I did not know what to do. Throughout this entire period, God still provided me with plenty of work, Praise God. I spoke to my Pastor and he told me exactly what God had told me ‘you need to tithe’. I thought ‘great, that’s three times I’ve heard that now, God must have a sense of humour!’. It is only now with hindsight that I can understand where He was coming from but at the time, when I was in that time of trouble my head was filled with fog and desperation.

Source: nancyaruegg.com
Matthew 6:31-33 tells us ‘So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well’. With my van problems, at first I thought, I’m going to carry on under my own strength, but I got so fed up that I ended up not driving the van at all because I couldn’t be bothered anymore. I ended up hiring a different van! It was at this point that I thought to myself ‘you know what, I’m going to step out in faith and tithe.’ The scripture from Matthew 6:33 came to mind; ‘But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well’ and I felt an idea planted in my mind to go and buy a brand-new van, so that if anything went wrong with it then it will be the manufacturers problem, not mine. I went to a Dealership and one of the sales team talked me through the different options that were available to me. The van I had originally bought (the one that kept breaking down) was the one I really wanted, however I realized that this was not what I needed. I ended up getting a new blue van which was far better (and much more reliable) than I could have ever imagined. God knows exactly what we want and He knows our needs. Every time we go through times of trouble God helps will help us out, He knows us so well, He knew everything we needed before we were born. I can see now that I was getting my wants mixed up with my needs and God showed me time and time again that He will provide all of my needs, which is very different from my wants, as long as I was prepared to step out in faith. Remember God’s Word tells us to ‘seek first his kingdom’. First means, before anything else, and as you can see from my testimony it took me a while to really understand and grasp that.

In Philippians 4:19 God tells us that all our needs will be met; ‘And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus’. To think that God will provide all our needs is very comforting however we can often mis-interpret this, believing that all our wants will be met instead. There is a very big difference between something we need and something that we want. A need is something that we must have and is essential, whereas a want is something that we would like to have, but is not essential. My testimony provides a good example of how God taught me the difference and that in all circumstances at all times I should seek Him first rather than try to do things under my own strength. Praise God and thank you for Jesus.


Author: Phil Jones

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Sunday, 30 July 2017

A Peace that Transcends all Understanding

If we can keep our spiritual power supply topped up then this will help protect us to deal with the troubles of the world we encounter on an ongoing basis.

Source: PInterest
Have you noticed how quickly things can change in our lives? Sometimes we can wake up full of the joys of life and everything seems perfect with the World and sometimes we can feel the weight of the World on our shoulders, where we struggle to motivate ourselves, we feel burdened, tired and life just feels horrible. Everything in between these two extremes will also affect where we are and what we are feeling in our lives at any given time. We can go to bed feeling happy and content and wake up the next morning feeling completely different without being aware of what has caused the change. Something may happen during the day where we may be offended by something somebody has said or done and our feelings can change very quickly to frustration, sadness and even anger. So, why do these changes happen so suddenly and subtly, often as quickly as the ‘flick of a switch’? Why do they impact on our lives so much?

The Bible tells us in Acts 17:27-28 ‘God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being’. In this scripture lies the underlying answer to the questions raised above. God’s desire is for us to seek Him and to have a relationship with Him, for us to reach out and to find him and ‘in him we live and move and have our being’. Think about that for a moment, before reading any further just pause for a few moments and re-read the scripture and absorb what the Word of God is telling us. If ‘we live and move and have our being’ in God then it follows that the closer we are in our relationship with God and the more we seek Him then our inner being will become spiritually filled. If we can keep our spiritual power supply topped up then this will help protect us to deal with the troubles of the world we encounter on an ongoing basis. Never forget that satan’s agenda is to ‘steal, kill and destroy’ (John 10:10). In 1 Peter 5:8 the Bible describes satan as our enemy who ‘prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour’. Although satan was defeated at the cross, the enemy will still try to find ways to wreak havoc in our lives by lying and deceiving and corrupting everything that is wholesome and good. Satan’s agenda comes packaged so subtly that we may never know we’re coming under demonic attack. This can explain how our peace and happiness can be destroyed so quickly and how we can go from feeling really happy to really downcast without actually understanding why.

Source: Beholding Him Ministries
If we are struggling in our lives on a regular basis then maybe it is time to take stock of where we are in our relationship with God. How powerful is the presence God in our lives? The scripture above tells us ‘For in him we live and move and have our being’. If there is not a powerful presence of God in our lives then why not? Maybe it is time to re-connect. In order to make our earthly relationships grow and flourish we need to work at them, showing love, commitment, compassion etc. It is no different with our relationship with God. He too shows us all of these attributes so that He can develop His relationship with us and us with Him. Let us never forget how much God loves us; Romans 5:8 ‘But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us’.

Life is sometimes not easy and there are no guarantees that we will not experience tough times. If we feel downcast or that life is challenging or maybe we are on the ‘treadmill of life’, then maybe it is time to make some changes and step off the treadmill. Maybe it is time to re-connect, reinvigorate, re-energize, call it what you will, our relationship with God. Maybe it is time to; ‘Seek his face!’ Your face, LORD, I will seek’ (Psalm 27:8). If you are at a place in your life where you feel overwhelmed or maybe where there is no solution to your problem then the Word of God tells us that no problem is bigger than God; Ephesians 3:20 ‘Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us’. Hand your situation over to God ‘And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 4:7). If we can stay in the presence of God and experience a peace ‘which transcends all understanding’ then our lives and everything in it will also be more peaceful because God will be in our being, leaving no room for satan and his devious plans.

Father God, I thank you that you loved me so much that you sacrificed your one and only Son, Jesus, for my salvation. I pray that when things happen that try to destroy my peace that I come to you and hand them over to you. I pray for those who are at a place where they see no solution, where satan is trying to destroy their peace and pray that you will intervene in their circumstances. Let them experience your love and may they experience your peace and glorify your wonderful name. I pray a refreshing of the Holy Spirit for those who have given their lives to Jesus so that their souls are uplifted to bursting point with love and thanksgiving for Jesus. I pray protection on all Christians against the plan of the enemy so that they are constantly reminded that Christ’s death on the cross dealt with satan, once and for all. Amen.


Author: Gary O’Neill

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Sunday, 23 July 2017

Jesus – Our Friend

Jesus demonstrated His friendship, love and loyalty by what He chose to do at the cross. It may be worth asking ourselves; What am I/you doing to demonstrate our friendship, love and loyalty to Jesus?

Source: PInterest
As a youngster, I remember singing the song ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus’.  Back then it was considered a good song to sing about Jesus. Now, as an adult by virtue of my age and also of my spiritual maturity, I need to know what a friend is and the responsibility that goes along with friendship. John 15:15 ‘I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business.  Instead, I have called you friends, because everything I have learned from my Father I have made known to you’. Wow!  Consider what Jesus said.  We, the committed Christians, are no longer His servants, but are called His friends!  

Friendship requires commitment to each other – loyalty, trustworthiness, even unto death.  This friendship that Jesus is referring to goes so deep that He said; ‘all things that I heard from my Father, I have made known to you’. Think about those words; ‘my Father’! He is the creator of all things – the author and controller of all things. Wow! Those are intimate things between Jesus and His Father, and Jesus shares those things because Jesus has trusted His true believers to know Him and His Father.

Source: DailyVerses.net
Why has Jesus trusted us with these intimate things? There are four primary reasons:

1) Jesus wants to re-establish the relationship between God and man that He had with Adam and Eve before they sinned.

2) Jesus wants man to live in total harmony with God and man which can only happen if man knows and lives by God’s standards of righteousness.

3) Our God is a jealous God and wants man to worship only Him.  After all, God created man.

4) God/Jesus wants us to go out into the world to proclaim His word (the Scriptures) and present the gospel of salvation.

Here is a question - Jesus asked His followers to go out into the world. Are we, His chosen, prepared to go out and share the gospel? Yes – Jesus said so in John 15:15. There are many other Scriptures that tell us that we should be prepared to go out unto the world. Consider how Jesus prayed for His Disciples in John 17:6-19. (Please go into your Bible and read this scripture); then consider these key verses:

John 17:8 - ‘For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me’. Note: Again, Jesus said that He gave us all that was given to Him.  We are prepared!

John 17:11 - ‘I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one’. Note: Jesus said He would leave this world, but He was leaving us in this world to do His works, and we are protected by the power of our Father to go out unto the world. We are protected!

John 17:13 - ‘I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them’. Note: Jesus says He wants us to have His JOY. We have His joy!

John 17:17 - ‘Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth’. Note: We need to be sanctified by applying the Word of God. The Word of God is the only absolute truth. We have His truth!

John 17:18 – ‘As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world’. Note: Did Jesus send us to another Bible study, church service, program, etc.?  While these are important, the most important thing is that Jesus sent us out into the World to use the Gifts of the Spirit He has given us. We have the Gifts of the Spirit!

Well, that is what the Scripture says about our relationship with Jesus. There are many more Scriptures that say the same thing about our friendship with Jesus and what Jesus desires from that friendship. An Important note to finish with: Jesus demonstrated His friendship, love and loyalty by what He chose to do at the cross. It may be worth asking ourselves; What am I/you doing to demonstrate our friendship, love and loyalty to Jesus?


Author: David Leatherman

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Sunday, 16 July 2017

Jesus is the Master Key

Having a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus helps me in frustrating times

Source: Heart's Table
A couple of months ago God blinded my eyes to finding my son’s spare car key and in doing so I believe God saved his life. The ‘short’ version of events goes like this: My son was working in America and when his work was done he was packing his things up to make his way back to the UK and he noticed that his car keys were missing. He got in touch with me in the UK and asked me to meet him at the airport with the spare car key on his return. I said I would, however, when my daughter and I got to his house to pick up the spare car key it was not where it was supposed to be. We both searched but could not find it anywhere.  I contacted my son to tell him we could not find the key and he explained that the spare car key was in a specific drawer in his kitchen. I went back to his house and totally emptied out this ‘specific drawer’ but there was no spare car key. When my son returned to the UK the following day a friend dropped him home and the first thing he did was open the ‘specific drawer’ and to my absolute shock the key just sitting there. 

The 'missing' key - Source: own
I prayed to God and asked him ‘why were my eyes blinded to seeing the spare car key in the drawer, the drawer that I had completely emptied out?’  I believe the answer that God gave me was that He was protecting my son and possibly the lives of other innocent people. God knew my son was not in a fit state to drive his car that day and knew that he was completely exhausted after a grueling two-week work schedule and a very long flight home. The bible tells us that we don’t know our future (Ecclesiastes 8:7) but God does. The bible also tells us that God knew us before we are born (Jeremiah 1:5) and in Jeremiah 29:11 ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’. Praise God. Later that evening when I was praying I asked God ‘What if my son had driven his car that day and something terrible had happened. Would I still worship you when the hedge of protection was removed?’ In response to that question I can only pray that with the help of the Holy Spirit I could be trusted by God to worship him always and in everything.

My prayers led me to consider some of the many incredible characters in the bible who’s hedge of protection was removed and yet they never stopped worshiping God. Job’s worship to God was unwavering even when he lost his sons and daughters, his cattle, his servants and his camels; Job 1:20-21 ‘At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised’. In Job 2, Job loses his health and his wife challenges him to curse God and die but in Job 2:10 ‘He replied, ‘You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?’ In all this, Job did not sin in what he said’. The Bible is packed with incredible characters, just like Job to help us on this often difficult and complex journey.

Source: PInterest
Having a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus helps me in frustrating times like the afore-mentioned example of not being able to see the key! I love reading the Bible. It is the most amazing book ever. Many of the scriptures are written on my heart and mind (Proverbs 22:18). Knowing the Bible gives me the confidence that God has everything under control. The Bible is a light unto all our feet (Psalm 119:105); and helps us stay close to God ready for times of attack from the enemy in this world (1 Peter 5:8).

I would like to conclude this testimony by thanking God for the hedge of protection that He places around all His beloved children. My heart is always overwhelmed with love and adoration for God. It is my belief that God saved me from the agonising heart break of losing my only son whom I love with all my heart and yet He allowed His own beloved Son to brutally die for me and for you, this reality is more than my mind can comprehend. Thank you, God, for saving my son’s physical life and giving all our loved one’s additional time to claim Jesus as their only ‘key’. The Bible tells us in 2 Peter 3:9 ’The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance’.

Prayer - Father God open the eyes of the lost, not to a missing car key but to see that there is a Devine Almighty Christ who faithfully promises to dwell with us and never leave us. Help us Dear Father God to know you have everything under control. You always know what is best for your children. Help us to be still and hear your voice (Psalm 46:10). Father God we don’t know if we have tomorrow (1 Thessalonians 5:2) so help us to be bold and share the good news and to speak out wherever you have stationed us to be, to tell everyone that in Matthew 7:7 Jesus said; ‘Knock and the door will be opened’. Jesus is the master key, who can never ever be misplaced, Jesus lives safely in our hearts for all eternity. Amen.


Author: Christina O’Neill

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Sunday, 9 July 2017

Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you

I am not exactly sure what is going on at this moment in time but I know that God is with me. I feel that He is working with me and ‘cleaning’ me. The fact that He has heard my prayers, yes, my prayers, tells me that He wants me to be still and to know His presence in my life and to Glorify Him

Source: Knowing Jesus
I have recently had feelings of being frightened, stressed, unsure and in my darkest moments I have even had feelings of wanting to end the suffering and pain to the point of wanting to take my own life. By God’s grace at these moments of utter despair I reached out to brothers and sisters in Christ and asked them to pray for me. God has obviously heard their prayers because I am still here. I have come to realise that contemplating taking my own life is actually a selfish thought on my part and in hindsight this gives me feelings of guilt and shame. When I see all of the hardship in this country and around the World such as starving children, wars, disasters and many other forms of suffering, one could ask are my troubles really that significant? In actual fact I can now look back and see that my troubles seem very small compared to others, however this was very difficult to see and acknowledge when I was at my lowest point. God tells me that I am a work in progress and that He has things for me to do while I am on this earth; Philippians 1:6 ‘being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus’. Below is a brief testimony showing how God is starting to work in me. I pray this will give hope and encouragement to those who may feel the way I did and to know that God is always there for us and He never leaves us, it’s actually us who move away from Him: Hebrews 13:5 ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you’.

Earlier this year on 31st May I was made redundant from my job and I had to sign on for Job Seekers Allowance (JSA). When I was at the Job Centre I was asked what types of job I would be looking for. As I had worked as a cleaner for several years and as this was the job I had just been made redundant from it seemed only natural to look for similar types of jobs. I was asked if I would consider any other types of work and after a little thought I said; ‘I wouldn’t mind being a Security Guard’. I was told that to be a Security Guard I would need to pass Maths and English tests first, and as I had not been in education for many years my first thought was ‘great, that’s, that then’. I had no confidence that I would be able to pass these tests, in fact the thought of doing them filled me with dread. I therefore initially discounted the possibility of being a Security Guard.

Source: Amazing Facts
After a little while a thought came to my mind that I have got nothing to lose so I may as well have a try so I booked a place to go and take the tests. The centre where the tests were being held was quite a distance from my home. I had not been to that part of the City before and I was not convinced I would be able to find it. I asked the Lord to be with me and to help me find my way to the centre and to be with me during the tests. God heard my prayers; I managed to find the centre easily and to my amazement, I passed the tests with high scores! Matthew 7:7 ‘Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you’. Praise God, that He heard and answered my prayers.

I am not exactly sure what is going on at this moment in time but I know that God is with me. I feel that He is working with me and ‘cleaning’ me. The fact that He has heard my prayers, yes, my prayers, tells me that He wants me to be still and to know His presence in my life and to Glorify Him; Psalm 46:10 ‘He says, Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth’. Without knowing me personally it will be very difficult for anyone reading this testimony to fully understand what an absolute miracle it was for me to pass the Maths and English tests. There is no way I could have done this on my own. I feel that my heart is filling up with love for an amazing God who is holding me right now. Jeremiah 29:11-13 ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart’.

I have no idea what God has planned for the rest of my life, however I know that He is working on me right now. I accept that it will not always be easy but I know I have a God who hears me 24/7, a God that will always be there for me and a God that will never let me down. Thank you Father that despite all of my faults, failings and short comings that you love me unconditionally. Amen


Author: Margaret Hannon

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Sunday, 2 July 2017

The Mouth

More wars, destruction, and hurt have been brought about by words that come from the mouth, than any other mechanism

Source: New Life Narrabri
The mouth - what a wonderful and important thing it can be. It allows you to enjoy some of the blessings of Our Lord. Some of the most joyful times are experienced when we use our mouths to eat. The mouth can also be a vital tool used to express and communicate through verbalization and while it can be a pleasant thing it can also be a vicious tool or a weapon that can be used for pure destruction. More wars, destruction, and hurt have been brought about by words that come from the mouth, than any other mechanism. However even though words can be a tool of destruction, they can also be a thing of beauty. What better mechanism for communication do we have than words coming from the mouth? Also, what feels better than a kind word that comes from the mouth?

Source:www.primobibleverses.com
The Bible has hundreds of references to the mouth in both the New and the Old Testament and records a lot of cases where the mouth was a tool or a weapon. The Bible also records many cases where the mouth gave words of comfort and joy and reassurances. In the New Testament, Jesus gave a statement about words used in the wrong way; Matthew 15:10-20 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, ‘Listen and understand. What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them’. Then the disciples came to him and asked, ‘Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?’ He replied, Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit’. Peter said, ‘Explain the parable to us’. ‘Are you still so dull?’ Jesus asked them. ‘Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them’. The mouth in this scripture, is referred to as a weapon because of the words that come out of it. The rest of those verses, verses 10-20, go on to clarify what Jesus is referring to.

Words, we all use them. Jesus said to be careful that your words are cleansing and be sure your words are clean, not unclean. The essence, character, and soul of a man is not so much about what a man puts into his body from the outside in, but rather the essence, character and soul of a man is reflected by what comes from the inside out through his words, deeds, and actions. It is worth thinking about the things we allow to come from our mouths to ensure that we do not, as Jesus puts it, ‘defile ourselves’.


Author: David Leatherman

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Sunday, 25 June 2017

What is your ‘Come to Jesus story’?

Have you confessed that Jesus is now part of your life forever and that in doing so you are a ‘Child of God’?

Source: Jesus follower
I remember one of my Ministers regularly asking people; ‘What is your come to Jesus Story?’ and this is the question I want to ask you today. Some of you will no doubt have an answer buzzing around in your head, whilst others will be wondering what I mean. What I mean is, have you ever done what Paul tells us to in Romans 10:9-10? ‘if you acknowledge and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord (recognising His Power, Authority, and Majesty as God), and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart a person believes (in Christ as Saviour) resulting in his justification (that is, being made righteous—being freed of the guilt of sin and made acceptable to God); and with the mouth he acknowledges and confesses (his faith openly), resulting in and confirming salvation'.  In other words, this is the process in which we enter into a relationship with God the Father, through Jesus the Son. Therefore, your story is; how you did this and what happened?

For example, my ‘come to Jesus moment’ was as a child of 6 years old. I had come home from a Sunday morning meeting and prayed and asked Jesus into my heart before the evening meeting. I couldn’t tell you the time of year or the words that I said, but, I can tell you why and how I felt. In those days (early 1970’s) the Ministers I heard speak, my parents and my grandparents all fervently believed that Jesus could return at any time. We would often go out of the morning meeting in the expectation that Jesus could return even before the evening meeting. I am guessing that this was the message had been given during that Sunday morning service because I remember the overwhelming desire to enter into a relationship with God before the evening meeting. I had heard this told so many times before, so, in the way a 6-year-old does, I just copied what I had heard, a simple yes, but non-the less a real and permanent commitment. I remember clearly running to the Minister that evening to tell him what I had done, and I remember him lifting me from the ground and swinging me round in his arms with joy.

Source: PInterest
My ‘come to Jesus story’ may not be a big story but it is my story. I say it isn’t a big story because in my youth my parents and I were avid readers of autobiographies of people that had come to Jesus when they were older. There were stories of prisoners who had done wrong and found Jesus in prison and He transformed their lives; there were stories of Muslim, Jewish, Jehovah’s Witnesses and others that in their search for a full relationship with God had met with Him through Jesus the Son. There were members of gangs who when their lives were transformed, risked their own lives to tell fellow gang members of the power there is in the name of Jesus of Nazareth. So, in the light of these stories my story of what God had rescued me from would appear to be minor or less significant.  In recent years, I have however come to realise that my story is not as small as I had thought, it’s just that He rescued me from a lot before it happened. Not only that but because I embarked on my journey of companionship with God at an early age He has always been there and has guided my footsteps as He promised He would. That makes my ‘come to Jesus story’ just as relevant and meaningful as the greatest adventures however mundane it initially seemed to me. 

So, what is your 'come to Jesus story' and what is it that is important about the story to you? Have you gone through the process of accepting that; you cannot be right with God on your own merit by what you do – the bible tells us that we can never be good enough to be right before God on our own (by our deeds or actions), as the goal is just too high, even for those who manage to be ‘mega good’ – just look at the ten commandments in Exodus 20 and how even King David a man after God’s own heart couldn’t keep them all the time. Do you believe God exists and that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of the Living God? The bible is God’s word and it tells us that Jesus died and rose again for us to be made right with God and to be able to enter into the same type of friendship/companionship with Him that Adam, Moses and Elijah had, to name a few. Have you confessed that Jesus is now part of your life forever and that in doing so you are a ‘Child of God’? The bible tells us that this is ultimately what happens when we follow the simple yet profound instructions found in Romans and that by doing so we are adopted into God’s family through Jesus His Son. Amen.

It is important that you have a ‘Come to Jesus story’ of your own and that way you will know that one day, you are going to spend forever (eternity) with Jesus in heaven. Amen


Author: Julie Roach 

May God bless and enrich your life


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Sunday, 18 June 2017

Be vigilant at all times, the battle never ends

In our day to day battle it is very important to remember that Jesus Christ alone is the one, the only one that we should be totally dependent upon, it is in Christ we move and have our being

Source: PInterest
Did you know that we are in a war? We must be aware that we are living in a war zone; the Christian life is a war and we have a very real enemy who hates us and seeks our down fall daily, he is called lucifer or satan and he has other names. He will use every tactic he can against us and one of his most powerful weapons is deception. 2 Corinthians 11:3 ‘But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ’. He tells us that we are not good enough; you can’t preach like them; you can’t pray like them; look how you have messed things up; a Holy God can’t use you; play it safe, go home, what do you know; don’t go to church, and so on…. All these lies are from satan who will do all he can to stop us from serving God, however God has given every one of us gifts which we can use to counteract satan and to lay up treasures for ourselves in heaven; John 16:33 ‘These things I have spoken to you that in me you may have peace; in the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer because I have overcome the world’.

In the Second World War both the Germans and Japanese used radio propaganda. The Germans had 'Axis Sally' (a nickname given by American GI’s) and the Japanese had 'Tokyo Rose' who were a group of presenters who would play the latest hits such as the Glen Miller Band etc, and at the same time they would feed false information such as; ‘many American troops missing or dead’; 'American boys you are too young to die’; ‘You are far from home’; ‘Your family miss you’ and so on… They would then go on to discourage the troops by saying things like; ‘This is an unjust war’; ‘You can’t win’; ‘Surrender to us’; ‘Give up and go home’. This is exactly the same way in which the devil speaks lies to discourage us constantly; Psalm 120:2 ‘Save me, LORD, from lying lips and from deceitful tongues’.

Source: Source: keywordsuggest.org
We should always be aware and rebuke the lies of the devil and confidently know who we are in Christ Jesus. We must not let the lies of the devil effect our Christian walk or our church. We must encourage and pray for one another, nor forgetting the Pastor and the Church Leadership Team who are on the front line of spiritual attacks. Satan will be constantly trying to discourage them (and us), in every possible way, so we should always be on our guard and be vigilant.1 Peter 1:13 ‘Therefore prepare your minds for action, keep sober in Spirit, fix our hope completely on the grace to be brought to you, at the revelation of Jesus Christ’.

Just before a serious message one Sunday morning on Spiritual warfare the Pastor said; ‘sometimes I feel like I am in a trench with a crash helmet on, being bombarded on every side with arrows from the devil 24/7’. This really emphasised the constant battle we are in, a battle that never ends, even when we are sleeping. If the battle is constant then so should our vigilance and protection also be; Ephesians 6:11 ’Put on the whole armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes’ and Ephesians 6:6 ‘in addition to all this take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one’

Do you know that Pastors are probably the most noble of the fivefold ministry? They are stayers. The Teacher and the Evangelists move on, but the Pastor sticks around. They are available all hours of the day and night, regardless of how much they get paid. Many Pastors battle to survive month after month with very little financial help from their congregation and yet they remain faithful to the ministry (they stick around). The Pastor and his wife have a lot of responsibility. Many people need their attention and support after a service, so the question I ask myself is how can I best help to support the Pastor and his wife. My prayer before God is that I never add to their pressures. Come on brothers and sisters lets be a blessing to the church God has called us to and use our gifting’s to edify the church and bring Glory to God.

In praying for our Pastors nothing releases the power of a Pastor’s ministry like the prayers of their flock. The Apostle Paul recognised that his effectiveness in ministry depended on the people’s prayers; Ephesians 6:19 ‘Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel’. Satan targets pastors who preach the truth and the thing he hates and fears the most is God’s Word. Often when Pastors are preaching, the spiritual struggle is so intense that afterwards they find themselves drained. This emphasizes why we need to fight the battle alongside our Pastors, to help to shield them with prayer and support to ensure that they are continually protected so that they can go fearlessly into battle each day.

In our day to day battle it is very important to remember that Jesus Christ alone is the one, the only one that we should be totally dependent upon, it is in Christ we move and have our being; Isaiah 40:10 So do not fear, I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen you and help you, I will up hold you with my righteous right hand’.

I pray that you will be encouraged by the song at the end of this blog which is about overcoming the lies of the evil one and knowing who we are in Christ. May the Lord Bless you.


Author : Eileen Greaves

May God bless and enrich your life


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Sunday, 11 June 2017

The Wedding Celebration

If we don`t keep our lives topped up with the oil of the Holy Spirit, by asking the Lord for a fresh supply each day, then when the time comes for us to enter the wedding celebration we will be drained and in the dark and we will miss out

Source: Tell the Lord Thank You
I always like to write about something that is current to me, and at the moment I am in the throes of a wedding, my sons` wedding in fact. It seems that most thoughts these days seem to end up back at the arrangements. The success of the day is all about the planning, but the trouble is that this can lose sight of the real wonder of the day; two lives becoming one in the presence of the Lord (and all the guests of course). This got me thinking about how much Jesus knew of weddings. He actually talked about wedding quite a lot and He had obviously been to a few. He may even have had experience of the planning/preparation around a wedding from members of his own family.

The invitations - Jesus must have known about the excitement of sending out wedding invitations and the expectation that people would be pleased to be invited. In Luke 14:15-24 Jesus talked about a man holding a great feast and inviting many to come however one by one they all made excuses, saying they had different things to do. Imagine the man’s disappointment that people cared so little about his invitation. So, in the end the man sent out invitations to people in the streets and alleys of the town and the country lanes to come to his feast. I know how disappointed my son has been that some people couldn’t attend his wedding, and here is the Lord of Heaven and Earth inviting us to come and partake of His wonderful gift of new life through Jesus. Sadly, so many people find excuses not to accept this offer, yet day after day instead of rescinding His invitation He offers it to anyone and everyone. Let us not find reasons to reject the invitation to come to Him or spend time with Him or whatever else He may be inviting us to do at that moment.

Source: Dee Brestin
The seating plan -  ahh! This has caused many a headache deciding who should be sat by whom, it can be a real dilemma. Jesus knew all about this. In Luke 14: 8-11 He tells us all about this; ‘When you are invited to a wedding feast, don’t sit in the seat of honour.  What if someone who is more distinguished than you has also been invited? The host will come and say `Give this person your seat`. Then you will be embarrassed, and you will have to take whatever seat is left at the foot of the table! Instead take the lowest place at the foot of the table. Then when your host sees you, he will come and say `Friend we have a better place for you!` then you will be honoured in front of all the other guests. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted’. Oh, how subtle expectation is. It`s my right to sit/be/have all the things I think I should. How disappointed and frustrated and sometimes envious and even resentful we become when we don’t seem to have what we think we `should have`. We feel that it is our right to be in say; a well-paid job, or have a better car, computer or whatever else we may value, even the kind of church we worship in. It's not wrong to desire all these things but when they take over and dominate all of our thinking (pushing us to demand them and to act resentfully if we don’t get them) then we are in danger. Jesus’s advice in the passage above is to take the lower place and wait to be invited by the host to the better place. Jesus summed this up in Mathew 6:33 by saying ‘Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you’.  In other words, let`s get our priorities right and God will sort out the rest.

The catering - Well, Jesus can turn water into wine (John 2:1-11) so problem solved, just let Him handle the catering and we will always have the best. This just depends what your ‘catering’ needs are today, trust Him with the problem, do what He tells you and leave the rest up to Him.

The right clothes - There is a parable in Matthew 22:11 about a man turning up to a wedding in the wrong clothes however this has a sad ending with the man being thrown out.  It is important for us to ask the Lord to clothe us with the robes of His righteousness in every situation so we will be properly attired ‘equipped’ for every situation we must face.

Preparation - Everyone knows the secret to a successful wedding is preparation. Those poor bridesmaids (or virgins in the more traditional texts) in Matthew 25:1-13. They had started well, they all had lamps, they all had oil and they were all waiting for the Bridegroom. They all got tired and fell asleep but when the Bridegroom finally arrived, the five who had prepared well had enough oil in their lamps to go with Him. The five who had not prepared thoroughly and only taken just enough oil were left in the dark and outside the celebration.  So, what does that all mean for us? Yes, we can get excited about being invited to the wedding (God’s plan of salvation) and accept the invitation, by asking him into our hearts and to forgive us our wrongdoings, by making sure we are seated in the right place and even by wearing the right clothes (His robes of righteousness).  However, if we don`t keep our lives topped up with the oil of the Holy Spirit, by asking the Lord for a fresh supply each day, then when the time comes for us to enter the wedding celebration (either the work He has for us to do, or ultimately the time for us to go to be with Him) we will be drained and in the dark and we will miss out.

And finally, The Bride - Every bride is special and prepares herself for that moment when her Groom turns and looks down the aisle and sees her for the first time in all her loveliness, prepared just for him. It is amazing to me that the Lord would want me (us) as His bride, but He does and He thinks we are very precious, so precious that He gave up His own life to secure mine (and yours). I need to take time today to prepare myself for Him. This can be so hard to do some days in the stresses of everyday life however today could be the day when the Bridegroom comes and calls us either to do something for Him or to be with Him. We must be careful not to be unprepared, so, may our lamps always be full of oil. God bless.


Author: Jan Pearson

May God bless and enrich your life

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Sunday, 4 June 2017

What is God’s agenda for our lives?

Jesus had no agenda of His own, but what about us? How are we living for God? Is what we are doing to gain praise from man or from God? We need to be honest with ourselves about this

Source: My Little Corner of the World
Do we have an agenda? This is a good question to ask ourselves and then to think about. If we do have an agenda, then what is it? Is it in line with God's agenda for our lives? What is God's agenda for our lives? All pretty deep questions on the surface, but if we break them down it's really quite simple. We'll look at what God's agenda is for our lives toward the end of this article, but first let’s look at:

'What was Jesus' agenda when He came to earth'? - Well, Jesus was quite clear about this; when coming to be baptised by John He said in Matthew 3:15  ‘Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfil all righteousness’. So Jesus was being baptised to fulfil all righteousness, He was consecrated, set apart, called by the Father into service for Him here on earth. In essence Jesus' agenda was to fulfil the Father's agenda. He makes this quite clear in John 5:19 ‘Jesus gave them this answer: 'Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does’. John 8:27-29 also tells us; ‘They did not understand that He was telling them about His Father. So Jesus said, ‘When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He and that I do nothing on My own but speak just what the Father has taught Me. The one who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do what pleases Him’. So the bible shows us that Jesus had no agenda of His own.

Source: The Blueprint
Now, what about us?: 'What's our agenda now that we are in Christ'? - It's clear from scripture that many people in the bible had their own agenda. One good example of this can be found in Acts 8:18-24 where after Simon the sorcerer had believed in Jesus, he followed the disciples and when he saw that the Holy Spirit was given and received by the laying on of the apostles hands, he offered them money and said 'Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit. Peter answered: May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God’. He was then told to repent. So, is our agenda to do God's will our way, is our heart right before God? The bible tells us in Matthew 7:21 that not everyone who calls themselves a Christian is going to get into Heaven ‘Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven’. We have already seen that Jesus had no agenda of His own, but what about us? How are we living for God? Is what we' are doing to gain praise from man or from God? We need to be honest with ourselves about this.

Lastly: 'What's God's agenda for our lives'? - Well I believe it’s the same agenda that Jesus had; to glorify God, to say what He tells us to say and to do what He tells us to do. Quite simple really when you think about it, but that's often the problem, we think about it. We then try to reason with ourselves about it and ask ourselves 'what God might want from us?' Even if we know what He wants from us we often decide to do it our way, which then introduces our own agenda and usually results in us being honoured for it instead of God. So, how can we be sure of what God wants from us? Well that's even simpler, it's not a secret, He's made it crystal clear in His Word of what He requires from us. Micah 6:8 'He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God’. Now, ask yourself this question; 'Who do you love more, yourself or Jesus?' but before you answer think for a moment and really consider what this question is asking you. Then be honest with yourself before you make your decision. If what your heart is telling you is yourself, then consider the scripture above from Matthew 7:21. However, if your answer is Jesus, then I leave you with this from John 15-24 ‘If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you for ever - the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me any more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.’ Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world? Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me’.

So God's agenda for us is...’To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God’. And to obey the commands and the teachings of Jesus. Forget what you're good at, what you can offer Him, what great giftings you might or might not have, it has nothing to do with any of that and if we're not careful these things can become stumbling blocks to our walk with Him. God simply wants a love relationship with you and me, He proved that on the cross. My prayer to finish, is that we let Christ Jesus be our example and that we follow in His footsteps.

To God be the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.


Author: Kevin Hunt

May God bless and enrich your life   
  
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